Press Release
February 10, 2022

'Vaccination is key to return to normalcy' says Bong Go as he lauds vaccine rollout, inoculation for kids aged 5 to 11 years

Senator and Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography Christopher "Bong" Go once again encouraged parents to trust the vaccines to better protect their children against COVID-19.

Go reiterated his appeal in a video message during the launch of pediatric vaccination held at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City on Tuesday, February 8. The day before, the government had already kicked off the rollout of vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 years in other sites across Metro Manila.

While the senator acknowledged the concerns raised by parents, he assured them that the decision was made by the government only after careful consideration and consultations with health experts.

"Alam ko po na marami ang nag-aalala at concerned sa magiging epekto ng bakuna para sa kanilang mga anak ngunit maniwala po tayo sa mga eksperto, doktor at sa siyensya. Napatunayan na po na makakatulong itong magbigay ng dagdag proteksyon para sa mga menor de edad," Go said.

"For almost two years, our children are deprived of enjoying outdoor activities. Although no one wanted it to happen and it is beyond our control, we owe them these essential childhood experiences like playing outside of their houses, being with their classmates and friends, and creating happy memories," he added.

The senator noted that getting inoculated is not mandatory but vaccines remain one of the most effective ways to be protected from the virus. He also stressed that getting their eligible children vaccinated shall play a crucial role in safely reopening public spaces, including schools, in order for the country to sooner return to normalcy.

"Kaya naman po bilang mga magulang at mga tagabantay, bumawi po tayo sa kanila sa pamamagitan ng pagpapabakuna. Importante po na maunawaan nila ang kahalagahan nito at kung bakit kailangan na sila mismo ay mabakunahan rin," Go appealed.

"This is a precautionary measure that would help our children boost their immune systems to ensure that they will be physically healthy by the time they go back to a face-to-face set-up in their schools and go out to public places," he added.

Despite the recent petition filed to stop the rollout of vaccines for children in the 5-to-11 age group and other factors contributing to the hesitation over the pediatric COVID-19 vaccines, Go thanked the parents who trusted the government's pandemic efforts and allowed their qualified children to get their shots.

In a previous joint statement by the Department of Health and National Task Force Against COVID-19, they stressed that there are no adverse events reported among the nine million children aged 12 to 17 who received their doses at least once, since the government started the vaccination drive for minors in October 2021.

"Rest assured that our government will continue to be aggressive in responding to COVID-related issues. We remain relentless in safeguarding the health and safety of the general population," Go emphasized.

Finally, Go recognized all those who continue to spearhead the fight against the global health crisis, saying, "Ipinapaabot ko ang aking walang sawang pasasalamat sa ating mga bayaning medical frontliners, mga kapwa kawani ko sa gobyerno, at sa lahat ng mga kababayan nating nagpabakuna. Maraming salamat po sa inyong suporta at kooperasyon upang masigurong ligtas ang bawat isa sa atin."

As of February 7, the government has already administered a total of 129 million vaccines. Around 60.1 million Filipinos are fully vaccinated, 60.7 million have received their first dose while another 8.2 million have obtained their booster shot.

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